Basslink rejects interconnector design breach

Basslink has rejected allegations from the State of Tasmania that a design flaw was the cause of the December 2015 interconnector cable failure.

In a statement, Basslink said it stands by the independent investigation that was undertaken by CCI, who concluded the actual root cause of the cable failure in December 2015 as “cause unknown”.

The long-running blame game continues as Basslink said it received a letter this week from the State of Tasmania (State) alleging it had breached the Basslink Operations Agreement (BOA).

The BOA governs the contractual relationship between the State and Basslink as the operator of the Basslink Interconnector.

“Basslink strongly denies the allegations set out in the State’s letter,” a statement said.

“The State has alleged that warranties about the design and construction of the Basslink Interconnector were breached.

“As part of the commissioning of the Basslink Interconnector in 2006, the Basslink Interconnector was rigorously tested to ensure the design and construction requirements were satisfied.

“Given the Basslink Interconnector was completed and commissioned more than a decade ago, Basslink is extremely surprised at these very belated allegations by the State and strenuously denies that any warranties under the BOA were breached.”

Basslink said the State alleges it suffered “various losses” and Basslink must pay more than $100 million.

“Basslink understands that the State’s allegations stem from the DNV GL reports commissioned by the lawyers for Hydro Tasmania, which were provided to Basslink in December last year,” the statement said.

“As Basslink has previously noted, DNV GL did not conduct any testing of the Basslink Interconnector’s cable and their reports were solely based on theoretical modelling.”

Based on the findings of CCI, Basslink maintains the cable failure was a force majeure event.